Most people refer to them as “second tallest” because they are usually the next tallest players on a basketball team.
In physical attributes and playing style, they are the closest to the center, but their uniqueness is that they have more speed.
Forwards (both the power and the small) are responsible for getting free for a pass, take outside shots, drive for goals, and rebound. An excellent Power Forward have the capability of playing under the hoop to operate in the wings and corner areas.
In the NBA, power forwards usually ranges from 6´8″ (2.03 m) to 6´11″ (2.11 m). Despite the averages, a variety of players fit tweener roles which sometimes put them in the small forward or center position depending upon coaching decisions or matchups. Some power forwards often play the center position and have the skills, but this may not be a good decision because most time they lack the height that is associated with that position.
Below are the key features of a power forward:
- Effective rebounder: Most of the great rebounders of all time; the likes of Dolph Schayes, Dennis
Rodman, Charles Barkley, were great power forwards. Securing rebounds and keeping possession with your team is one of the biggest and most important jobs of the position.
- Defense and Shot Blocking: As one of the post players, they are asked to make life tough for
opponents close to the basket by denying position, closing up passing lanes and not allowing any easy close-range shots.
- Long Shoot: The power forward most time, are also a good shooter from further distances than the center.
- They are strong: A power forward being asked to rebound, play physical defense and run the floor must be in tremendous physical shape.
- Good foul shooter: A power forward should be a good foul shooter because he will draw contact on both ends of the court.
Really, this guy is more than valuable (Don’t get me wrong, each player is valuable, and they all have their specific position and roles) for a team to be successful. Power forward frequently makes his biggest contributions without having the ball in his hands. How? He sets screens, boxes out, and plays solid defense. He is always an intimidator -in- the paint- type and keeps off offensive penetrators from the basket.
A good example that you can learn more about on the attributes of a good Power forward is “Pau Gasol”. A six-time NBA All-Star, and a four-time All-NBA selection, twice on the second team and twice on the third team.